There are approximately 130 universities in the UK, and around an additional 240 further education colleges also offering university level courses, which means you have over 350 institutions to choose from when thinking about higher education… So what should you consider when deciding where to go? Below are some of the key points to contemplate when researching different institutions:
This has to be number one. Does the university have the right course for you? Keep in mind that unlike schools and colleges, universities do not follow a curriculum and so courses in the same subjects may cover different elements and modules at each university.
Where is the university in relation to the town/city? Is it a campus-based university, so all on one site (a bit like a school or college but on a larger scale) or is it in the centre with the university buildings dotted across the city? At the University of Plymouth we have the luxury of being a campus university but right across the road from the main city centre so we have the best of both worlds.
Check out what facilities it has for your course. Is the library open 24 hours? How big are the computer rooms? But also what are the facilities like for any extracurricular activities, such as sports centres and outdoor facilities.
Sports clubs and societies
Ask about the sports clubs on offer, and what competitions they take part in. Or if sports aren’t your thing, then ask about the different societies. At Plymouth, we have societies for our different courses as well as the Disney Society, Harry Potter Society and Knitting Society (and many more)… there really is something for everyone.
What accommodation can the university offer? Catered or non-catered, how many rooms per flat? If you want to live in halls, it’s worth finding out if they are guaranteed for first years.
If you want to get a part time job, a placement or just gain some work experience whilst you study then it’s worth considering what support and advice there is at the university in helping you gain employment.
Doing your research is important, but going and seeing the university for yourself is critical. Once you have an idea of which universities you may like to apply to, book on to an Open Day and go and have a look around to check it lives up to your expectation and you can see yourself living there.
Got a question about UCAS, the application process or university life? Tweet our Outreach and Recruitment Officer Lois Tucker using the hashtag #AskLoisAtPlym and she will be happy to help.
Student Life Magazine cover - issue 3
Plymouth alumnus - Tom Rowell
Birmingham City Football Club - Head of Marketing
How to choose a university
From course to location, Outreach and Recruitment Officer Lois shares her top tips
How to make the most of your summer holidays?
Volunteer, get a job, go travelling – there’s plenty you can do during those long breaks
My Plymouth: Jake Rowlinson
A graduate and freelance illustrator on why staying in Plymouth suits him down to the ground
What can you do with a degree in podiatry?
Meet a podiatrist who works with some of the top footballers and cyclists in the country
The big question - what happens in clearing?
Your survival guide for getting through the Clearing process
Student funding and bursaries
From academic funds to sporting scholarships – what help is available and how to get it
Can we win the virus war?
Dr Michael Jarvis and his team of students are leading the way in Virology and Immunology at University of Plymouth
Summer in the city
Top 10 things to do in Plymouth to turn your Open Day into a summer holiday
What's on offer at The House?
See what’s on offer at Plymouth’s £7m state-of-the-art theatre and rehearsal space
Should we bring wolves back to Britain?
The ‘rewilding’ movement led by activist George Monbiot wants to reintroduce species long extinct on British shores
Should you start your own business?
Strong employment is being driven by entrepreneurs, like these Plymouth graduates
What does it take to be the fastest human on the planet?
Fastest human on the planet Usage: Student life magazine only
What does the future of gaming look like?
An immersive virtual world is finally on the verge of becoming a reality
What would you give the queen for her birthday?
A list of the weirder gifts Her Majesty has received over the years
Where in the world will your degree take you?
Where will your degree take you? Student life magazine Usage: Student life magazine only
Why go to an Applicant Day?
Students say what they got out of it, from meeting other students to finding out more about courses